Weekly Update

Strive Center for Autism - May 28, 2021


Monday, May 31st, 8:30am

Brighton and Burton

Both centers will be closed for Memorial Day - enjoy the long weekend!

April Leaves

It took a minute to pull together the data, but in April, our learners acquired 70 new skills! That brings the total for the first 4 months of the year to 779. We are so proud of all their hard work - some of the skills are small and some are big, but every one is worth celebrating!

Returning to Normal

We know that everyone is anxious to have things return to normal, and that includes our staff and families! At this time, the CDC has not provided new guidance for school programs, and their current guidance for summer camp programs continues to include wearing masks, whether staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or not. Strive Centers will continue to monitor for updates to this guidance, but at this time, our staff will continue to wear masks.

In addition, we will continue the following COVID-19 mitigation practices:

  • We will continue to encourage the children to wear masks when they are in small groups, and we will continue to allow children to remove their masks when they are at their individual tables.

  • We will continue to require daily health screenings and request that staff and children remain home when they are experiencing any symptoms.
  • We will continue to encourage at least 3 feet spacing between children whenever practical.
  • We will continue to require handwashing throughout the day for staff and children.
  • We will continue to clean frequently touched surfaces and materials per our cleaning policy.

Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Playtime Partners

Many parents may remember that we used to have a part of our day called Playtime Partners. We paired children up to play together, and then set up structured situations in order to encourage imitation and social skills. With the pandemic, we had removed Playtime Partners from our schedules, in order to limit close physical contact between the children. We are reinstating this fun and important part of the day, as the most recent CDC guidance requires 3 feet of distance between children, which we are able to maintain, and with the warmer weather, we'll be able to do a number of play activities outside. We are certain that we can provide this important opportunity for kids to learn and play together while continuing to protect everyone's health. Please reach out if you have any concerns, and expect to hear updates about your child's Playtime Partners activities in the next few weeks!

Coming Soon - Fun Fridays

This summer, we are planning Fun Fridays! There will be two aspects to make Fridays special - a fun activity and a dress up day. The fun activities will vary but will include some "cooking", science activities, and just general fun outdoors.

The dress up days were a parent suggestion - similar to the type of spirit week activities you might see in a school! We'll keep them just on Fridays, and all are planned to use items you already have on hand. These should be fun for the kids, and will help them understand dress up days at school.

For June, these are the Fun Friday plans:

June 4th - School Spirit Day - wear a strive t shirt (we will provide prior to June 4th!) AND Frozen Jewels science activity (using water beads and ice)

June 11th- Wheels Day - no special dress up, but feel free to bring you own wheels - bike, trike, etc. and helmet. We'll have plenty of things to ride on at the center too, so don't worry if you can't bring yours!

June 18th - Pajama Day AND Reading Buddies. We'll take a blanket and some books outside, pair up with a buddy and read together!

June 25th - Beach Day - wear your sunglasses, shorts, hats, whatever makes you ready for the beach! AND Sink or Float science activity (another fun activity with water outside!)

We won't have a "cooking" activity until July, and we will let parents know our planned ingredients, so you can reach out if there are any diet or allergy concerns. As always, feel free to send a different treat if needed for your child to make that day special!

Meet Sarah, Lead Therapist in Brighton

Sarah has worked at the Strive Center for Autism since December 2019. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is also planning on attaining her master’s degree.

Previously, Sarah was a Physical Therapist Assistant in multiple skilled nursing facilities.

Sarah loves creative writing. She is working on a paranormal novel when she has the free time. She loves reading, she especially loves the classics.

She enjoys hiking in the deep woods and walking her two dogs.

Big picture

Functional Skills

You've probably heard your BCBA mention "functional skills" and maybe you thought, "What does that mean?" It's kind of a broad term that covers a lot of little things that might make it easier for your child to function in his daily life. It's all those things we work on all the time - sometimes with a specific goal in place and sometimes just as part of what we do naturally. You work on these skills at home all the time too - every time you expect your son to go get his shoes when you tell him to, or to walk next to you in a parking lot, you're working on functional skills too. Here are just a few examples of functional skills we work on at the centers:

  • Cleaning up - lunchboxes after eating, toys after playing, even helping to vacuum (see cute pictures below!)
  • Parking lot safety - walking next to your therapist or holding onto the group lifeline when we walk with other children
  • Gardening - the kids have helped pull weeds, raked the dirt, planted seeds, and watered their plants (see pictures below)
  • Washing hands - every day, multiple times per day
  • Using the restroom - with all the extra details - only pull your pants down when you're in the restroom, close the door, turn on the light, and turn it off again when you're done
  • Brushing teeth - many children bring in a toothbrush and toothpaste so we can practice this skill - let your BCBA know if you need help with this
  • Haircuts - many children struggle with getting a haircut, and we can work with your child to learn to tolerate this complicated experience
  • Visits to the doctor or dentist - through play or through a targeted program, we can teach children what to expect in those places and how to behave

Let your BCBA know of any day to day challenges, even if they are more specific like haircuts or visits to the doctor - we are up to the challenge of helping your child learn to navigate his world!

Our Cleaning Helpers

Gardening Fun

Visiting the doctor and getting a haircut